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RADIANT: The Life and Line of Keith Haring (in person & live-streaming)

March 30 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Perhaps more than any other, the singular street art of Keith Haring became emblematic of a particular cultural time and place: an at-once vibrant and decaying downtown New York of the 1980s, marked by both rebellion and excess, and soon to be ravaged by AIDS. Today, Haring’s instantly recognizable images grace everything from kid’s sneakers to Coach backpacks. The short, meteoric career and stunning achievements of this iconic American artist are richly documented in RADIANT: The Life and Line of Keith Haring (Harper, March 5, 2024) by National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and New York Times bestselling biographer Brad Gooch. Granted access to Haring’s extensive archive, Gooch interviewed or was helped by more than two hundred people in assembling this definitive account of the magic and mystery of a barrier-breaking visionary.

Brad Gooch will be joined in conversation by Ricardo Montez, author of Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire (Duke University Press, 2020).

Copies of Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring (Harper, 2024, hardcover, $40) will be available for purchase and signing, as will copies of Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire (Duke University Press, 2020, paperback, $24.95). To reserve copies of either/both books, please write to us at contact@bgsqd.com with “reserve book(s) for March 30th” in the subject line.

Thank you for supporting the Bureau by purchasing books from us!


About Radiant:

Keith Haring arrived in downtown Manhattan from Kutztown, Pennsylvania in 1978, age 20. He discovered a city filled with urgent messages, taped to blank walls or spraypainted on the sides of buses. He was soon leaving his distinctive, unsigned chalk drawings on the black matte sheets pasted over outdated ads in the subway, drawings that featured images that would become his basic alphabet: flying saucers, pyramids, ziggurat stairways, barking dogs, crawling babies suffused in rays. Before long, Haring was a global artist, part of an influential cultural crowd that included Andy Warhol, Madonna, and Basquiat. He played a significant role in breaking down the wall erected between high art and popular culture, creating accessible work for all that provoked and inspired radical social change. Haring died of AIDS in 1990; his work, once radical, is now timeless.

“I saw my first Keith Haring circa 1980, though I can’t say exactly when, only that from the first crawling babies spotted in SoHo, his artworks were a marker, a sort of placeholder in my memories of the decade,” writes Gooch, whose memoir Smash Cut chronicled his own exuberant youth in the New York arts scene in the 70s and 80s. “With his early belief that art could change the world for the better, and wishing to make accessible and affordable for everyone, Haring, against all odds, succeeded at his democratizing mission. In our own era of engagement by so many artists with any available surface; with personal icons and licensing; with activism, collaborating, communication; and with the fostering of community, Keith Haring seems more than ever one of us.”


This event will take place in person at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, on the second floor (room 210) of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., NYC, 10011.

Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served.

Suggested donation $10 to benefit the Bureau’s work.

All are welcome to attend, with or without donation.

We will pass a bag for donations at the start of the event, but we can also take credit card donations at the register or on Venmo @bgsqd


Also live-streaming on the Bureau’s YouTube channel:



Brad Gooch is a poet, novelist, and biographer whose previous ten books include Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and New York Times bestseller; City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’HaraGodtalk: Travels in Spiritual America; and the memoir Smash Cut. He is the recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships and lives in New York City.


Ricardo Montez is Associate Professor of Performance Studies in English and Art History at Rutgers University. He is the author of Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire (Duke University Press, 2020).


Registration Required:
Youth Only:
Arts and Culture
March 30
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Custom Sources
Bureau of General Services Queer Division (BGSQD)
Event Language
Event Topic
Arts and Culture
Registration Required
Youth Only